Rinsing Your Cottage Cheese

“Good-to-great companies became like Dave Scott. They rinsed their cottage cheese.”

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Sounds disgusting, but I promise this has a point. The analogy comes from a disciplined world-class athlete named Dave Scott, who won the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon six times. In training, Scott would ride his bike 75 miles, swim 20,000 meters, and run 17 miles – on average, every single day. During his training, Dave Scott believed that a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet would give him an extra edge, so he would literally rinse his cottage cheese to get the extra fat off. Whether this actually helped him or not, this small action showed Scott’s discipline, diligence, focus and commitment to be the best. A word that author Jim Collins uses that relates to this story is “superdiscipline.” Before you explore what superdiscipline would look like for you in whatever journey you are on, the first question that must be answered is, “Do you want to be the best?” The easy answer is “yes” but what does being the best mean and are you REALLY willing to do what it takes to reach that?

There was a story written by a Team USA trainer who recounts the insane work ethic of Kobe Bryant, in which Kobe called him at 4:15 AM to work on his strength/conditioning. After an hour and 15 minutes of training, the trainer went back to sleep and awoke again at 11AM for team training. He recounts the next morning as such:

On the right side of the practice facility was Kobe by himself shooting jumpers. And this is how our next conversation went — I went over to him, patted him on the back and said, “Good work this morning.”


“Like, the conditioning. Good work.”

“Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it.”

“So when did you finish?”

“Finish what?”

“Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?”

“Oh just now. I wanted 800 makes so yeah, just now.”

My jaw dropped. Mother of holy God. It was then that I realized that there’s no surprise to why he’s been as effective as he was last season.

If you really want to be extraordinary or be the best in any field, are you willing to sacrifice the time and effort needed for whatever superdiscipline is needed? Most basketball players aren’t willing to be up all morning and make 800 jump shots, and that’s why most players aren’t Kobe Bryant. Do you have  the discipline to rinse your cottage cheese?